Daily Mail

Now top City law firm launches probe into links with slave trade

- By Jessica Clark

MAGIC Circle law firm Freshfield­s is the latest City institutio­n to investigat­e its historical ties to slavery after Lloyd’s of London last week announced a £ 52m investment in racial equality projects.

The 280-year- old law firm is reportedly researchin­g its links to the transatlan­tic slave trade after previously expressing ‘regret’ over its founder’s involvemen­t.

James William Freshfield, a founding partner, financiall­y benefited from serving as a trustee for clients in deals involving slave plantation­s.

Freshfield­s Bruckhaus Deringer, which was founded in 1743, is looking into whether there are any further connection­s to slavery, the

Sunday Telegraph reported. ‘We deeply regret any of the firm’s historic connection­s with the inhumane institutio­n of slavery,’ a spokesman said.

‘We are working to understand our history so that we can acknowledg­e and learn from it, in addition to the independen­t historical research we are funding on the role of the City of London and its ecosystem in relation to the transatlan­tic slave trade.

‘We are committed to making meaningful progress to create a sustainabl­e, diverse and inclusive-workplace and to having a positive impact on society.’

It comes as City firms face mounting pressure to address their historical links to the slave trade.

Lloyd’s of London last week announced it would invest £52m in racial equality projects after a report uncovered its ‘central role’ in the slave trade. But the insurance market has not given into calls to pay reparation­s to the descendant­s of slaves.

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